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NOTE - After 19 years online, HomeOfHeroes.com may soon close it's doors.

Many of the HERO STORIES, history, citations and other information detailed in this website are, at least for now, available in PRINT or DIGITAL format from AMAZON.COM. The below comprise the nearly 4-dozen  "Home Of Heroes" books currently available.

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Medal of Honor Books

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This series of books contains the citations for ALL Medals of Honor awarded to that branch of service, with brief biographical data and photos of many of the recipients. Some of them also include citations for other awards, analysis of awards, data tables and analysis and more. These are LARGE volumes, each 8 1/2" x 11" and more than 500 pages each. Click on a book to find it on Amazon.com where you can find more details on what is contained in each book, as well as to get a free preview. Each volume is $24.95.

Heroes in the War on Terrorism

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NAVY    -  MARINES   -  AIR FORCE   - ARMY O.E.F.  - ARMY O.I.F.

These books contain the citations for nearly all of the awards of the Silve Star and higher to members of each branch of service in the War on Terrorism. Books include photos of most recipients, some biographical data, analysis of awards by rank, unit, date, and more.

ENCYCLOPEDIA of AMERICAN MILITARY HEROES

With the 5 Medal of Honor volumes above, these compilations comprise a virtual 28-volume ENCYCLOPEDIA of decorated American heroes(15,000 pages)  with award citations, history, tables & analysis, and detailed indexes of ACEs, FLAG OFFICERS, and more. (Click on any book to see it in Amazon.com - $24.95 Each Volume)

United States Army Heroes

Distinguished Service Cross

Distinguished Service Medals
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1873 - 1941 Korea Vietnam 1862 - 1960 RVN - Present

United States Navy Heroes

Navy Cross Silver Star Navy Corpsmen
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1915 - 1941 WWII Korea - Present WWII

United States Marine Corps Heroes

Navy Cross Silver Star
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1915 - WWII Korea - Present 1900 - 1941 WWII 1947 - Korea Vietnam - Present

WINGS OF VALOR
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The Defining Generation
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AUTHOR PAGE

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History of The

MEDAL OF HONOR

Our Nation's Highest Award for Military Valor "Above and Beyond the Call of Duty"

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The FIRST Medal of Honor

Bernard J.D. Irwin wasn't thinking about medals that February morning in 1861...indeed there was no such thing  for American soldiers.  Instead the Army Surgeon's mind was occupied with concerns for a young Arizona Territory boy and a group of fellow soldiers.  Days earlier Cochise and a band of Apache warriors had captured the boy.  The 7th Infantry's 2d Lt. George Bascom had immediately pursued with 60 men on a desperate rescue mission.  Now word had reached Fort Breckenridge that the greatly superior Apache force had surrounded Bascom and his men and imperiled their own survival.

Accustomed to using his medical skills to save lives, Irwin was determined to now use his military skills to save his comrades.  Unfortunately only 14 men could be spared from the garrison, these to be Irwin's rescue party.  No horses could be spared for the mission, so Irwin and his 14 soldiers departed Fort Breckinridge on mules.  Faced with a trek of 100 miles in the midst of a winter blizzard, the logistics of the mission were as improbable as the possibility of encountering the much larger enemy force, defeating them, and rescuing the captives.  None-the-less the Irish-born surgeon was determined to try.

"D-Day" came on February 13, 1861 when Irwin's small rescue party encountered Cochise and his warriors at Apache Pass, Arizona.  But it wasn't a battle so much as it was a TACTICAL engagement.  With a carefully laid out plan and maximum placement of his 14 men, Irwin succeeded in convincing the Indian warriors that he had arrived with a much larger force, causing them to withdraw.  Bascom's 60 men were liberated and joined Irwin and his 14 soldiers.  The unified force then pursued Cochise into the mountains where they were able to engage him and rescue the captive boy.

Irwin's heroic rescue occurred almost a year before the Medal of Honor was introduced to the US Congress.  Indeed, Irwin himself did not receive the Medal of Honor until January 24, 1894.... more than 30 years later.  But his actions the cold mornings of February 13-14, 1861 are recorded in history as the FIRST MEDAL OF HONOR ACTION.

From Bernard J.D. Irwin's heroism in 1861 to the courage of two Army Rangers who sacrificed their lives in Somalia for the sake of their comrades in 1993, the history of the Medal of Honor is a saga that uniquely defines America and stands as a tribute to all veterans of our military services through each war and conflict.   Since our Nation's birth in 1776, no generation of Americans has been spared the responsibility of defending freedom through "force of arms".  Since the Civil War Medals of Honor have distinguished the bravest of these brave. 

Our emphasis at the Hall of Heroes is not on the Medal of Honor itself, but on the men who have received it.  None-the-less, it is important to know and understand the history of the award to fully comprehend the nature of its recipient's actions and heroism.  From here you can link to pages of information designed to help you understand how a star-shaped medallion produced in relative obscurity in 1862 matured and grew into a symbol of valor so prominent that when General John J. Pershing presented it to World War I hero John C. Latham he remarked, "I'd swap my stars for that medal."

Along the way we would also like to introduce you to The Congressional Medal of Honor Society, perhaps our Nation's most "exclusive" group, certainly one of our most prestigious.  It is this organization, chartered by the Congress, that exists to preserve and protect the history and heritage of our Country's highest recognition:  THE MEDAL OF HONOR.

Other Pages in this Site

[History of the Medal of Honor]  [The First Presentation]
 [Development of the Medal in Appearance] [Time Line of MOH History
  [MOH Statistics]   [Interesting Facts about the Medal
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[MOH Museum]     [National Medal of Honor Day]    [Links]

Editorial Page
[Medal of Honor -- BLESSING or BURDEN]

 

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Military Awards by order of Precedence

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